Police investigating the murder in 2012.
Police investigating the murder in 2012. Trevor Veale

Notorious Jetty site remains dilapidated and overgrown

THE scene of a brutal murder in the jetty area, committed by three members of the same family, remains dilapidated and overgrown, six years on.

Concerned local Jim Thacker has written to Coffs Harbour City Council on a number of occasions urging them to do something about the state of 47 Collingwood Street.

While council has issued multiple orders to the owners, directing the property be slashed, no action has been taken and the home remains in a dilapidated and dangerous condition according to Mr Thacker who says school children often play amongst the broken asbestos sheeting.

In October 2012 Dennis Burns was found with critical head injuries outside the home on the corner of Edgar and Collingwood Streets. The 50-year-old had been beaten with a wooden pole, a small hammer and other items.

He later died at Newcastle John Hunter Hospital.

James Moore, 26 at the time, was arrested and charged with murder, just days after the alleged assault. James' mother Michele Kathleen Moore, 49, and her partner Brendan James Price, 41 were initially charged with armed assault but had their charges upgraded to murder.

The assault was sparked by a dispute over the price of cannabis between Burns and James Moore, which escalated into the physical altercation.

In December 2014 a jury found James Moore guilty of murder and he was sentenced to at least 18 years in jail. His co-accused were also found guilty and in August 2015 his mother Michelle Moore was sentenced to a non-parole period of 15 years, while Brendan Price was sentenced to a non-parole period of 12 years.

SIX YEARS ON: The empty house at the corner of Collingwood and Edgar streets.
SIX YEARS ON: The empty house at the corner of Collingwood and Edgar streets. Trevor Veale

Mr Thacker, whose mother lived across from the property for many years, can't understand why a block in this popular jetty location with modern apartments and restaurants nearby can be left in such a state.

Coffs Harbour City Council has considered pursuing a court order to have the building demolished and/or fenced off.

"However, obtaining a successful court order is a lengthy and expensive process with no certainty of success and, as we have been informed that the property is for sale, we have decided not to pursue that approach at this time.

"We will, however, keep an eye on the property and continue to pursue improvements by the owner,” a representative said.

Mr Thacker is considering letterbox drops around the area to get more residents behind his push to get the block cleaned up. The council says it has made the owner of the property aware of issues whenever complaints have been received. "We have considered we will, however, keep an eye on the property and continue to pursue improvements by the owner."



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